Erectile dysfunction (ED), also known as impotence, is a type of sexual dysfunction characterized by the inability to develop or maintain an erection of the penis during sexual activity. Erectile dysfunction can have psychological consequences as it can be tied to relationship difficulties and self-image.
The most important organic causes of impotence are cardiovascular disease and diabetes, neurological problems (for example, trauma from prostatectomy surgery), hormonal insufficiencies (hypogonadism) and drug side effects. Psychological impotence is where erection or penetration fails due to thoughts or feelings (psychological reasons) rather than physical impossibility; this is somewhat less frequent but can often be helped. In psychological impotence, there is a strong response to placebo treatment.
Besides treating the underlying causes such as potassium deficiency or arsenic contamination of drinking water, the first line treatment of erectile dysfunction consists of a trial of PDE5 inhibitor (such as sildenafil). In some cases, treatment can involve prostaglandin tablets in the urethra, injections into the penis, a penile prosthesis, a penis pump or vascular reconstructive surgery.

Example Sentences

  • CVS Caremark Corp.'s pharmacy-benefit business is recommending customers stop covering more than 30 drugs next year, including diabetes treatments and an erectile-dysfunction pill, to save money and combat drug-maker coupons that promote brand-name medicine over cheaper alternatives.

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  • While products that hit the shelves in Japan last year were first available six to eight years ago elsewhere, Mr. Lechleiter said Lilly has made progress in working with the Minister of Health and Welfare here to get approvals for launches closer to the same time in Japan as elsewhere, as with erectile-dysfunction treatment Cialis.

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